Worthington News

I-270 at U.S. 23

Interchange redesign drives York Golf Club course overhaul

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A stream will border the new par-3 11th hole of the York Golf Club after renovations are finished.
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Though construction has yet to begin, the new Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 23 interchange already has changed some drives -- and some putts.

York Golf Club, at Route 23 and I-270, is undergoing construction of its own this summer to prepare for the road improvements, which are set to begin in the fall.

To widen Route 23, the Ohio Department of Transportation purchased land along the golf course's east side. Though only cutting a few feet into the actual course, the new roadway means about five holes on the course had to be redesigned.

Since Aug. 4, golfers have played alongside earth movers and backhoes and played alternate holes as they watched their familiar 18-hole mecca become what many say will be an even better golf course after the work is finished next spring.

"It's a little bit of a nuisance right now, but the membership is excited about the changes," said Glenn Johnson, head pro at the private club.

Most visible to the public are the changes along North High Street, where the road will be widened and a new access drive into the club will be built.

Instead of traffic turning directly into and out of York, a new York Temple Drive will connect the golf club with West Campus View Boulevard.

Knowing the changes were approaching, York purchased the first house on the south side of West Campus View about five years ago. Now that house will be demolished to make way for the new entrance drive.

The drive will cut into what is now the back bunker on the short par-3 fifth hole, which is over a pond that is visible from North High Street.

That hole no longer will exist, though the fourth hole will be redesigned so that the green will be on the west side of the picturesque pond, which will remain.

Removing the fifth hole is expected to solve a longstanding challenge at the course, which, instead of having a front nine and a back nine, has a front 10 and a back eight.

The new course will include a new par-3 11th hole on the back nine, creating a more traditional golf-course layout.

"We're looking forward to having a nine and a nine," Johnson said.

The new 11th hole is creating a buzz among members. Cut into a former wooded area on the south side of the 12th hole, it will be secluded and serene, with a rambling creek running through it.

"This is the one everyone is really excited about," Johnson said. "I think this will be the best par-3 in the state."

Other changes include a redesign of the infamous chute on the 10th hole (currently the 11th hole) and a tee box on the 12th hole that will have a memorable view.

With the renovation, the second half of the par-4 fourth hole will have been rerouted Johnson said.

"It will play to the same par and a bit longer than it currently does," he said. "The green will be situated next to the pond that currently fronts the par 3 that we are losing to the roadway expansion."

To make room for the par 3 that will replace the fifth hole, York had to eliminate the existing 11th hole.

"This was a short, narrow par 5 that played into a tree-lined hollow (chute)," Johnson said. "We also have had to eliminate an elevated tee shot on our old 12th hole that provided a great view across the Olentangy River in the distance. Those two characteristics were among the more memorable at York due to their uniqueness to central Ohio golf. We are obviously thrilled that the routing of the new holes allows us keep these characteristics and even improves upon them."

The new 11th hole is the par 3 that will play from an elevated tee to a green that is nestled alongside a shale-lined stream, Johnson said. It will play 100 yards from the forward tees and will stretch to 170 at the back tees.

"We think it will immediately become the most breathtaking par 3 in the area," he said.

The new 10th, 11th and 12th holes will be par 4, 3 and 5, respectively.

The overall length of the course will play at more than 6,500 yards to a par of 71. It will be a little more than 100 yards longer than the current overall yardage, he said.

The redesigned course is expected to be ready for play on Memorial Day 2014.

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